Why an Indian film from 1959 is better than any Malaysian film in 2004.
A young couple, total strangers to one another, were coerced into marriage. The poor, unemployed young man takes his wife, a young lady used to luxury, into his small, run-down rented room. She breaks into tears. Fade to black.
Fade up again. It's morning. The young man is in bed alone. Stretching himself, he finds under his pillow, a hair clip. He twiddles it around his fingers, smiling fondly. Now he reaches under his pillow again and takes out a pack of cigarettes. When he pulls the top of the pack open, a piece of paper juts out. There is a hand-written message on it. It says, "After meals only. You promised." He smiles to himself, closes the cigarette pack lid and refrains from smoking.
And at once you knew. You knew that the sad young lady was no longer sad. You knew that she could make him do or not do things, without even being there. And because of that, you knew that they were in love.
Best of all, you knew ALL that, WITHOUT ONE WORD OF DIALOGUE.
Can someone out there name just one scene from a Malaysian film, in the last 5-10 years, that's as emotionally-rich, and as intelligently constructed, as the one I've just mentioned?